There are now more cars connected to cellular services than there are phones, according to recent reports.
As of the first quarter of 2016, cellularly connected cars accounted for a full third of all new cellular devices — going by a new analysis from mobile-industry consultants at Chetan Sharma.
According to the analysis, smartphone penetration is now at around 84% in the US (wow…), and new customer revenue is practically non-existent. Cellularly connected cars are of course a different situation — with substantial opportunity for further market growth.
The analysis noted that AT&T has around 8 million cars on its network. Making the company in possession of probably the largest share of the connected-car market. Apparently, AT&T is growing its presence in this market more than all of the other cellular operators combined.
This connectivity is used for telematics, vehicle-to-vehicle functions, over-the-air firmware updates, and entertainment, amongst other things.
Tech Crunch noted in its coverage, though, that many people apparently don’t know that their cars are connected. “A survey of 3,700 drivers in Europe by TNS and the BearingPoint Institute this spring found that 4 in 10 were unaware that the cars they owned already had connectivity features on board. The other 6 of those 10 people said that connected features influenced their decision to buy a particular vehicle. Connectivity was rated ‘an important criteria at purchase’ by 32% of respondents. So it seems that either buyers are searching for connected cars, or they don’t know anything about the technology, even if it’s baked right into their new cars.”
Interesting. I wonder if there’s a generational component to that?
(Tip of the hat to “ecarfan” on the Tesla Motors Club forum.)